Weekend Update

Hi Friends!

How was everyone’s weekend? I had an amazing BBQ steak dinner (not cooked by me, I can’t grill steak) with some girls from work. The lady that hosted even bought a bottle of the special steak sauce from Japanese Village. Have you been there? It’s a teppanyaki restaurant…you know, where they cook in front of you and throw the knives and your dinner in the air? It’s fun…and Holy F, the steak sauce is life changing.

Sunday I cooked up some delicious freezer fillers for one of my besties. My freezer is full and I had a hankering to do some prep. I know, I know, what’s wrong with me?

LIKE TO COOK

I live for this shit. For real. Finding recipes, planning meals, building grocery lists, aaaand the best part…GROCERY SHOPPING!! Seriously, I love it. I’ve looked into signing up for Spud (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery), but I think I would miss grocery shopping. Has anyone out there tried Spud? I might have to give it a whirl cuz sometimes, despite my love for the grocery store…

Meme

I shopped Saturday morning and cooked for a couple of hours in the afternoon, then worked for another 6 hours or so on Sunday. But really, it could have all been done in a day. You just have to be prepared and efficient with your time. My number one tip would be to do all of your veggie prep at once. I actually go through all of the recipes first, and list out what needs to be cut up for each meal (ie. Carrots: 1 cup diced, 1 cup sliced, extra for veggie bags). I find this to be a huge time saver, rather than cleaning a pepper and dicing it for one meal and then coming to my next recipe and realizing that I need another diced pepper. I also cut up extra carrots, celery, peppers etc. and throw them in ziplocs for lunches. Need peeled and diced butternut squash for veggie burgers? Prep 2 and you have a side dish ready to go during the week. It’s all about using my time wisely so I can be as lazy as possible during the week. #truth

So, what did I make you ask. Well…

  • Blueberry & Banana Baked Oatmeal – these little oatmeals are so cute. And also, so delicious. The base recipe is from Oh She Glows Portable Baked Oatmeal and they are super customizable. Apples and cinnamon would be good, strawberry-banana…I added blueberries to the batter, and put sliced banana at the bottom of each jar for a yummy surprise. Throw it in the microwave and enjoy with a splash of cream or a scoop of vanilla or coconut greek yogurt. YUM.
#MasonJarsAreTheNewTupperware

#MasonJarsAreTheNewTupperware

Sidenote – I have recently fallen in love with mason jars. You can bake in them, freeze them, they’re dishwasher and microwave safe, aaand they’re like a buck a piece so if one breaks, or you forget one in the fridge and it becomes a science project, pitch it. It’s a buck.

  • Spicy Butternut Squash & Black Bean Burgers – these are SO good. I’m totally into veggie burgers lately. They’re a great freezer staple for a delicious, hearty meal that is quick & easy. #thatswhatshesaid. I didn’t bother saving the squash seeds…seriously, who has time for that? Not this kid. I just threw in a handful of pumpkin seeds. I cook my burgers in the oven, on a cast iron griddle, at about 400°F for 10-15 minutes per side. We typically eat them sans bun, with a scoop of greek yogurt on top and kale chips on the side. If you want more spice, stir some sriracha or adobo sauce (from those canned chipotle peppers) into the yogurt. Ooh and guac would be delicious too! (Mental Note – add avocado to the grocery list).
Yum!

Yum!

  • Indian Cauliflower & Lentil Soup – This soup is from the Oh She Glows cookbook, by Angela Liddon. I tried it last weekend at the Elan Performance Ignite2015 Retreat and had to make it again. My friend Rebecca (*see below for Rebecca’s Turkey Lentil Muffins from the Nourish cookbook) hosted this amaaazing weekend and my Man sent me on the retreat as a Christmas gift. We did pilates, snowshoed, soaked in the hot tub (and then made snow angels), ate some delicious vegetarian fare, and created vision boards. It was such a fun and inspiring weekend. Anyway, to the food…we had this soup for lunch one day and it is SO good. The sweetness of the potato, the spice of the curry and turmeric, and you pretty much can’t go wrong with cauliflower in my books. Make this! I don’t have a picture of the finished product, but trust me, it’s beautiful and delicious, just like everything else in this amazing cookbook.

*COOKING LESSON: If you are going to be doubling a recipe (as I did with this soup), always ensure that your pot is going to be big enough. Otherwise this happens…

IMG_2478

Whoops!

…and you end up wasting an hour of precious cooking time cleaning soup off of (and out of) your stovetop. Fun Times.

  • Nourish Turkey Lentil Muffins – these are sooo tasty and another huge hit from the Nourish cookbook. Nourish is all about clean eating. The recipes are full of real food, with wholesome and accessible ingredients, and the photos in the book are beautiful. A couple of our other favourites are the Wild Spaghetti and the Lean Mean Black Bean Burgers. These turkey muffins are packed with veggie goodness and the pumpkin seeds and cranberries add sweetness and crunch. Check out a few more of Rebecca’s delicious clean-eating Nourish recipes here.
Make These Now!

Make These Now!

  • Spinach, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Mini Quinoa Cups – these are inspired by the Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups from Iowa Girl Eats. I swapped out the ham and zucchini for sautéed mushrooms and spinach, and the cheddar for crumbled goat cheese. I love these because they are another super easy, super customizable and (most importantly) delicious freezer staple. Don’t like spinach and mushrooms? Try ham/broccoli/cheddar, or turkey/ham/swiss, or chicken/black bean/jalapeno havarti…you basically have an unlimited number of combinations. Here’s a ‘Before’ pic…I failed to capture an ‘After’…
Mini Cups of Delicious

Mini Cups of Delicious

So there you go, 5 meals in a day. What are you guys eating this week?

Until next time, check out the links and test some of these awesome recipes yourselves. They are worth it, I promise.

Cheers,

Red

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Fab February Finds

Two posts in one day…I better be careful or you might get used to this 🙂

We have both been travelling a lot with work over the last couple of weeks, so haven’t been eating too many at home meals.  But we had a few big hits that I had to share…

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa – all I can say about this one is YUM, YUM, YUM.  The squash added sweetness, thickness and texture, the chicken was extremely tender, and the quinoa was the perfect touch.  I sent leftovers home with a friend and she was also a SUPER fan of this one.  I firmly recommend you make this tonight!

Squash Prepped & Ready to Go

Squash Prepped & Ready to Go

The last couple of times that I have used butternut squash, I bought the prepped squash from Costco but have found that it has a weird texture and taste.  This time, I bought a whole squash and prepped it myself…now, I realize that this may seem intimidating, but I managed to get er done in about 10 minutes, and with all 10 fingers in tact.  Victory!  And a welcome change from my typical style haha.  The verdict?  Prepped squash = $5.50, whole squash = $3.50 and 10 minutes of your time…your choice.

Vegetable Steamer - A Great Investment

Vegetable Steamer – A Great Investment

**Side Note – this thing is AMAZING for making hard boiled eggs…perfect every time!!

Poaching the Chicken

Poaching the Chicken

Have I Mentioned That I Love This Soup?

Have I Mentioned That I Love This Soup?

Ta-Da!!  The Finished Product

Ta-Da!! The Finished Product

Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers – these were another HUGE hit in our house.  A little bit of spice (I only used 1 chipotle pepper, but will bump it up to 2 the next time), and all kinds of nice.  I saved a few of the beans and added them whole (rather than mashing them all) for a bit of texture.  Next time I will probably add some shredded zucchini and/or carrots to bump up the veggie factor and add some moisture, but they were REALLY good.

Deeelicious!

Deeelicious!

The recipe made 6 good sized burgers (about 1/2 cup each), so this is another keeper recipe for quick, freezer friendly meals that make Monday nights just a little less hectic.  We didn’t make the greek yogurt, mustard & honey sauce…but served them with greek yogurt ranch (plain yogurt + ranch dressing powder), sliced avocado and easy peasy kale chips.

Dinner is Served

Dinner is Served

But with success comes failure…it does in my kitchen anyway.  I attempted to make these Sweet Potato Crisps to accompany a mushroom & zucchini frittata and fried deer sausage.  Thinking that I could save some time, I used my food processor to shred the potatoes…well, this was definitely not one of my top 10 best ideas.  The shred was too thick, so the potatoes didn’t cook and we ended up with raw potato mounds.  I think a finer shred, either with a microplane or the other processor shredding plate, would have resulted in crispier, cooked potatoes.

Sweet Potato Fail

Sweet Potato Fail

What’s on the menu this week you ask?

Sunday – Grilled Lemon Chicken and Roasted Carrot & Beet Salad w/Feta

Monday – Greek Salad w/Quinoa & Marinated Chick Peas … I am kind of winging this one, but am using Greek Pasta Salad and Cucumber & Tomato Salad w/Marinated Garbanzo Beans as inspiration

Tuesday – Grilled Shrimp with Salad

Wednesday – Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers 

Thursday – Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps

What are you guys eating this week?  Anything worth sharing?  I would love to see some pictures!  As usual, I will try to post some reviews next weekend…or in a few weeks, whenever…

Chow for Now,

Red

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January Recap

Hi Friends!

Sorry for the lack of posting, lots has been going over the last few weeks.  I thought I would throw out a quick January Recap on a few meals we had last month, some keepers and some not so much.

Vietnamese Style Lettuce Cups – these were a big hit!  Salty, sweet, crunch from the veggies, and it’s all wrapped up in a crisp butter lettuce leaf.  Lettuce wraps are awesome because you can fill them with so many things…taco meat, tuna salad, quinoa & beans…or in this case, yummy Asian flavoured ground pork.  The sauce recipe makes a LOT, so you could easily half it and have enough for leftovers.  Definitely a keeper.

Prepped & Ready to Go

Prepped & Ready to Go

Ta-Da!!  Delicious Set Up

Ta-Da!! Delicious Set Up

Cauliflower Steaks with Spinach Gratin – holy F, this was a top ten Meatless Monday meal for sure!  I have seen cauliflower steaks on Pinterest before but wasn’t 100% sold.  These sold me.  The roasted cauliflower has great texture and a bit of sweetness, the creamy and salty spinach cheese sauce was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  Make this NOW.

Cauliflower "Steaks"

Roasted Cauliflower “Steaks”

Cheese & Spinach.  Yum.  That is All.

Cheese + Spinach = YUM

SO Good!!

SO Good!!

Turkey Zucchini Meatballs – these were an awesome find.  They have great flavour, the zucchini adds moisture and the recipe makes a ton, so I was able to freeze them and had 2 quick and easy weekday meals before going to get my ass kicked by the trainer.

Easy, Delicious Meatballs

Easy, Delicious Meatballs

Thai Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup – unfortunately this came with mixed reviews.  The first attempt was so f-ing spicy that we couldn’t eat it and the second time, I burnt the squash so it had a really bitter taste.  But I encourage you to try it, because the flavour profile really should work!  Coconut milk, red curry paste, sweet squash…it should have worked!

Thai Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Korean Flank Steak – the marinade in this recipe was pretty good, but I have decided that I don’t like working with flank steak, so I probably won’t make it again.  I just find that the steak is really touchy when it comes to cooking it perfectly, and when it’s overcooked it’s really not good.  But the marinade itself was yum and if you like flank steak, this one is worth a try!

Roasted Tomato and Zucchini Frittata – I freaking love frittatas…can’t say enough good things about them.  Quick, easy, and a great way to cram a ton of vegetables into one meal along with the protein filled goodness of the incredible, edible egg.

Frittata!

I Heart Frittata!

Shrimp and Broccoli – another keeper!  Throw the ingredients on a cookie sheet and roast, how hard could that be?  Throw in a bowl with some soy sauce and rice or quinoa and you’ve got dinner.  Done.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal – if you are a regular reader, or follow me on Pinterest, you will know that this has become a weekly regular in our house.  Tastes like candy but is full of real, good for you ingredients, and it is super easy to throw together and bake on Sunday.  This feeds us for the entire week, 9-10 servings in total, and I just throw it in the microwave and eat with a splash of cream.  Make this NOW!!

Baked Breakfast Awesomeness

Baked Breakfast Awesomeness

I encourage you to try some of these and let me know what you think.  I’ll be back with a few February finds (say that quickly 10 times) that I am sure you will love.

Chow for Now,

Red

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Wild Rose Party

Not that party! It’s a Wild Rose Cleanse party. I am prepping up a storm today getting ready to start the Wild Rose Cleanse on Wednesday. Not that I was going to leave the house today anyway…this is the view from my kitchen window. It was 12 degrees on Friday…

Welcome to Calgary

Welcome to Calgary

For anyone who has not tried the cleanse, it is basically a combination of a super clean diet and a pill regimen designed to clean out your system. We all know what I mean by “clean out your system”…this will be worse for some than others. I tend not to eat a whole lot of crap anyway, so it doesn’t effect me too harshly but I do know people who have said that the cleanse makes their bodies angry. Like, real angry. So there is your warning…you will poop. A lot. But that is the point…

*Disclaimer – I am in no way, shape or form trained in anything related to medicine or nutrition and in no way qualified to tell you what to eat. I just know how the cleanse makes me feel and what the pamphlet says it does for you.*

This is not a cleanse where you starve yourself and drink crazy things like lemon juice and cayenne pepper. You can still eat meat, fish, healthy grains like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, barley etc., domestic fruit and pretty much any vegetable you want. You can not eat dairy (causes excess mucous production), flour (forms a glue-like paste in your intestines), peanuts (they contain naturally occurring yeasts and molds), tropical fruit (too much sugar) or any fermented foods (because you are trying to eliminate yeast). Oh and NO BOOZE. Boom. This will be by far the hardest part for me. That is sad. Hello, my name is Stephanie and I may or may not be a borderline alcoholic.

Fridge Full of Healthy Deliciousness

Fridge Full of Healthy Deliciousness

Aaanyway…for more information on the cleanse, visit their website. Here is our 12 day cleanse meal-plan, which will start on Wednesday March 6th so that we finish the day before our weight loss challenge weigh-in. Many of the recipes will need to be altered to follow the cleanse rules, but they are a good roadmap.

Breakfast will likely consist of oatmeal & berries and for lunches it will be a whole lot of veggies & hummus, tuna or salmon salad, hard boiled eggs, leftovers and salads. You are also supposed to limit your coffee intake and drink it black, so I will be switching to green tea for the next 2 weeks because black tea is fermented (and therefore not allowed) and black coffee is gross. Period.

What’s on your menu this week? Is anybody else cleansing? Check me out on Pinterest for these recipes and more.

Wish me luck!!

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